Nokia Turns Up the Volume on Comes With Music

Nokia flyer for Comes With Music

Recent media reports have suggested Nokia is planning to spend a further £10 million advertising Comes With Music in the UK. This coincides with a promotion at the Nokia flagship store in London, offering the 5310 XpressMusic phone and a Comes With Music bundle for £99 (shown on the right).

I firmly believe the 5310 Comes With Music bundle represents tremendous value — especially at £99. The problem is that so far it’s failed to capture consumers’ imagination in the way Nokia had hoped it would. In the UK, you can’t miss Comes With Music advertising, but people just don’t seem to understand (or believe) that you really do get access to as much free music as you want. As we predicted, for most people it just seems “too good to be true”. Perhaps they’re put off because it’s a mobile phone offer, which have always come with a catch, like the asterisk after an “unlimited” promotion that points out it’s not unlimited.

An iPod nano chromatic costs £109. Add a few albums from iTunes and you’ve exceeded the typical retail price of a Nokia 5310 phone and Comes With Music bundle, with millions of tracks at your disposal. So why aren’t more people flocking to take advantage of such a great offer?

Firstly, the Nokia 5310 isn’t as cool as Apple’s products, and buyers have repeatedly proved they’re happy to pay a premium for cool gadgets. Secondly, many people don’t pay for much of the music on their iPods: they rip it from CDs they already own or find other free sources. This makes paying for unlimited music look expensive, even if it is only a one-time fee marketed as part of a mobile phone bundle. And finally, Nokia’s offer is tied to a particular phone or PC. Despite the generous limits placed on such usage, Comes With Music restricts users in a way that ripped CDs and other “free” music don’t.

That said, I’m convinced Nokia will do whatever it takes to make sure Comes With Music is successful. It’s betting a lot on its Ovi-led services strategy and needs to seize the initiative in markets dominated by mobile network operators. Failure is not an option.